Trinity Episcopal School 5-8th graders recently spent a day at Ciel Gallery exploring art as part of “WOW Week” (WithOutWalls). I spent some time with Ciel partner and artist Jonathan Grauel to get the scoop.
“WithOutWalls offers educators and students a chance to explore passions that don’t always fit within the traditional walls of a classroom,” said Grauel. As a former educator, Grauel understands first-hand the difficulty getting art into the curriculum. “We were able to give them in-depth information about three distinct art mediums - mosaic, mixed media and digital painting.” Digital artist Grauel partnered with mosaic artist Pam Goode and mixed media artist Caroline C. Brown to give the students gallery tours and then mini-sessions in each topic.
“It was a condensed version of what I do in the classroom with students,” Grauel explained. As an artist who is interested in arts education, Grauel volunteers in local schools, bringing digital painting to the classroom. “I was impressed by the questions these kids had. They asked about software programs and whether to use a stylus or fingers for the best effect. I always use a finger for my stylus. I’m less likely to lose it, but no guarantees…” Grauel delved into the use of shapes as symbols in life and as inspiration for art. Together, they worked on collaborative digital pieces, which Grauel will complete and post for them to view.
At the end of our interview, Grauel received word that one of the Trinity students returned to the gallery the following Monday with his parents in tow. The boy’s earnest interest in sharing his experience with his parents convinced partner Laura Hitchcock to open the gallery just for them. Grauel was visibly moved. “This is what it’s all about,” he said.
Click Here to find out more about Jonathan Grauel’s work. To sign-up for a workshop click Here or stop by Ciel Gallery Tuesday through Saturday between 11 and 6. (Unless you are a middle schooler with your parents, then the doors might open during off hours)
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